REESE McGUIRE, CATCHER
|Born: November 22, 1994
Drafted: 1st round, 14th Overall, 2013
How Acquired: Draft
High School: Kentwood HS, Covington, WA
Agent: Matt Sosnick
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|McGuire was the most highly regarded catcher in the 2013 draft and the Pirates selected him with the 14th pick after scouting him heavily. Baseball America rated him before the draft as the tenth best prospect. The Pirates were widely expected to take him with the 9th pick, but they took Austin Meadows there when he fell to them. McGuire’s strength is defense. He’s considered above average in all areas, including receiving, pitch-calling and throwing. He also runs well for a catcher. Scouts like his swing and bat speed as well, and believe he has the potential to be an average or better hitter with average power. Not all observers agree, though, that his bat will play in the pros. He was a San Diego recruit but wasn’t considered an especially difficult sign. As it turned out, McGuire signed less than two weeks after the draft, and that delay was only due to the need to wait until after his graduation. The bonus was a reported $2,369,000, which was $200,000 less than the slot amount. He’ll be the primary catcher in the GCL. High school catchers taken early do not have a good track record, Jason Kendall notwithstanding, so this is a risky pick for the Pirates.
McGuire had a good debut. At the plate, he made consistent hard contact, controlled the strike zone, and showed some doubles power. He tends to hit the ball to left-center, so he’ll probably have to learn to turn on pitches to develop HR power. He hit RHPs and LHPs about the same. McGuire’s catching drew outstanding reviews from scouts and he threw out 44% of base stealers, plus two of five after a late-season promotion to Jamestown. After the season, Baseball America named McGuire the third best prospect in the GCL.
McGuire was the starting catcher at West Virginia. The Pirates cleared the way for him by moving Jin-De Jhang to Bradenton and Wyatt Mathisen to third base. McGuire didn’t hit a great deal, but that didn’t seem to affect the scouting views of him at all. He drew raves for his receiving, throwing (he threw out 39% of base stealers and was always a threat to pick runners off first), and game calling. At the plate, the main issue was a lack of power, as he consistently made contact. His hitting doesn’t seem to create a lot of worries because he was playing a tough position, at which hitting skills tend to develop more slowly, in full season ball at age 19. He struggled with LHPs, posting just a .520 OPS against them.
At Bradenton, McGuire had a mildly disappointing season. His defensive game continued to impress scouts, but his hitting didn’t, with one scout stating, according to Baseball America, that he wasn’t having “competitive” at-bats. He made contact consistently, but rarely hit the ball with any authority. He struggled severely with LHPs, posting a .409 OPS against them. McGuire threw out 25% of base stealers. The Pirates seemed to limit his playing time as the season wore on. For instance, he played in only 17 games in July. Whether that was to keep him from wearing out — not an insignificant consideration with young catchers — or out of deference to Jin-De Jhang, who was having a good year, isn’t clear. The Pirates did acknowledge benching McGuire briefly at one point for not hustling.
McGuire will still be only 21 throughout the 2016 season, which would be young for AA. So far, he’s moved up based on his glove, which probably has made it tougher for his bat to develop. He’ll likely move up to Altoona in 2016.
|2016: Minor league contract
|Signing Bonus: $2,369,000
MiLB Debut: 2013
MiLB FA Eligible: 2019
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2017
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 6, 2013: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1st round, 14th overall pick; signed on June 18.|